Back in 2015 a workshop at the European Delirium Association (EDA) conference was held to bring together a group of delirium experts. Its purpose? To develop a consensus agreement on a delirium curriculum for medical undergraduates.
Most of you reading this I’m sure will be familiar with delirium. It’s technically been around for centuries. However there are many working in healthcare who still do not know about it. Or if they do, they refer to it by every other name except delirium. Continue reading →
Daniel Sommer is a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He is an aspiring Geriatrician.
Geriatrics was a difficult placement for me as a student. The way we learn in medical school makes cardiology and gastroenterology rotations an easy place to learn what we need to learn. The problems are fairly logical and the solutions are also fairly logical. My simple medical student brain could comprehend it. I didn’t quite cut it in Elderly Medicine. The patients and their issues (both medical and non-medical) are often complex, with multiple interactions and facets, requiring “illogical” treatments and strategies that don’t always follow rules or make sense. Without a pretty astounding understanding of physiology, pathology, ageing, sociology and public policy, it will all go over your head. What I saw was a bunch of crumbly, demented old people who didn’t seem to get better. Shame on me.
Adam Gordon and Adrian Blundell are Consultants and Honorary Associate Professors in Medicine of Older People at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. They write here about a programme of work to better understand how UK medical schools teach about ageing, undertaken on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Older patients make up the lion’s share of work for the National Health Service – as they do for the health services of all developed, and many developing, economies. Most doctors currently in practice will spend the bulk of their career dealing with older patients. Many of those older patients will have frailty, or physical dependency, or multiple medical conditions. Many will have all three. Continue reading →